Happy Monday. This is a BIG week — because we’re going to remember it as when Hell’s Kitchen started its post-pandemic turnaround. Let’s do this.

Today we’re saying farewell to the 50 businesses that were COVID casualties. Thanks to Michael Muñoz and our readers for compiling the list and sharing memories. You’ll need a few cups of coffee (or large cocktails) to get through our nostalgic roll call.

We’ve delved into a recent real estate report that examined 29 million changes of address in 2020. After comparing 2019 figures, Hell’s Kitchen lost 7,000 residents during the pandemic — the most of any area in New York. Read more…

But don’t worry. We’ve got this…

This week last year, we asked readers to shoot a 30-second video of their pandemic lockdown experience. We remember Joe Iconis talking about “these batshit crazy times”. He survived — and thrived. On Friday he performed at The Guggenheim Museum (thx Caroline Cronson for the pic).

The same week, Pat Hughes boarded up Hellcat Annie’s with “FU Virus” and “We Will Be Back” messages. On Friday, I had a drink (and food) on that corner while Awkwafina and her crew had a drink (and food) in the outdoor shanty.

Things are coming back, and they will only get better.

What we’ve been reading

There’s more praise for our favorite trash queen! (Our Town)

There’s been good progress made on the new Covenant House building. (New York YIMBY)

The truth is out there… UFO sightings up in NY. (Gothamist)

Entertainment venues are exploring ways to open safely for live performances. (CBS)

Surprise! Andre De Shields Appreciation Day declared. (Broadway World)

Freeze Frame

Just a quick reminder… this was a stretch of 9th Avenue back in January 2020 (before the pandemic). We’ve always had businesses closing. We have a real opportunity to work together as a community to build Hell’s Kitchen back better.

Have a great week.